SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTLA) – As California and the rest of the country face a critical shortage of blood supply, a state legislator has unveiled legislation that would provide a financial incentive for residents who donate the vital resource and vital.
The measure was introduced Wednesday by Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, a Democrat whose 52nd District includes Pomona and parts of the Inland Empire.
Under Assembly Bill 1709, Californians who donate blood or blood components at least four times in a single calendar year would receive a $500 tax credit, effective Jan. 1, 2023. or after.
The bill would also encourage the California Office of Emergency Services to partner with the private sector and offer other incentives to help alleviate the crisis, according to a press release from Rodriguez’s office.
“It is alarming that California has reached a crisis level in its blood supply, a position no one in an emergency should have to face,” Rodriguez said in the statement. “The solution is simple; those who can give blood should do so. The impact of donating blood right now is immense, and Californians can do something positive for our healthcare workers and those who are ill or injured.
Rodriguez’s measure comes a week after Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary, announced the state’s ‘worst blood shortage’ in a decade and urged people to make a Don.
The situation is also dire nationally, with the American Red Cross declaring a blood crisis earlier this month, the first ever in the United States. About 40% of the country’s blood donations come from the Red Cross, and lately the organization has struggled to keep up with demand.
“Sometimes up to a quarter of hospitals’ blood needs go unmet,” the Red Cross said two weeks ago.
As a result, some doctors have had to “make tough decisions” about who gets – and who waits – for blood transfusions, according to the organization.
The shortage is the result of a combination of factors, such as canceled blood drives, staffing limitations and other pandemic-related challenges.
In addition to the legislation, Rodriguez has also joined a growing chorus of lawmakers — including Senator Alex Padilla — who have called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to eliminate its policy prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating to unless they abstain for three years. month.
He noted that dozens of other organizations were also seeking to end the restrictions, including the Red Cross.